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African Fintech firm MFS Africa bolsters London team as it drives offering abroad

By , ITWeb
Africa , 09 Mar 2021

Pan-African Fintech platform MFS Africa has made a raft of senior hires in its London office to drive new offerings targeted at banks, other financial institutions and global development organisations (GDOs).

The company released a statement and explained that the team is also tasked with leading and enhancing the company’s Treasury function, and strengthening the company’s best-in-class governance, risk management and compliance across its business.

“Marking its second decade, the investment in London is a statement of intent as MFS Africa seeks to drive Fintech innovation and bring its vision of seamless cross-border payments to banks, institutions and governments,” reads an excerpt from the statement.

The London team will focus on building partnerships with London-based banks and other financial institutions and expanding MFS Africa’s offerings to the finance sector to create new possibilities for cross-border payments. It will also seek to work with government agencies and GDOs to advance its proposition in areas such as digital cash disbursements.

As Managing Director of MFS Africa UK Limited and of the Banks, Institutions and Governments business unit within MFS Africa Group, Patrick Gutmann will lead the effort to strengthen the London office.

MFS Africa added, “In his previous roles as CEO of United Bank of Africa UK Limited and as Managing Director at BACB, he worked closely with regulators, corporations and financial institutions to build and grow diverse and broad-based businesses focused on facilitating and supporting trade, payment and investment flows into and out of the African continent. Prior to his move to London, Patrick spent time in South Africa and Nigeria whilst with Ecobank and in Egypt whilst with Commercial International Bank (CIB); in both institutions overseeing and leading the build-out and expansion of the Banks’ transaction banking businesses.”

Commenting on his new role, Gutmann said: “MFS Africa is no longer an emerging start-up. With over 200 million mobile wallets in Africa connected to its network, it has demonstrated the importance of its mission - to make borders matter less when it comes to payments - and the value of its technological approach.”

“With this maturity comes an opportunity. For MFS Africa, this means developing and expanding our offering by working more closely with banks, financial services institutions, and government bodies. It’s our moment to build on a decade of success and to develop new approaches to payments which can help businesses and people on the African continent and beyond.”

The company has also announced the appointment of Funmi Dele-Giwa as the Director, Legal & Regulatory Affairs and Group Company Secretary, Mark Ashdown as the new Head of Risk & Compliance, Nika Naghavi, recently the Data & Insights Director for the Mobile Money Programme at the GSMA, joins as Director: Strategic Projects, to lead key strategic partnerships and to drive the expansion of MFS Africa’s ecosystem.

Dare Okoudjou, Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, said, “We are expanding into London to ground our global offering in the city’s best-in-class approach to compliance, governance, and regulation. I’m excited to embed the business in the city’s dynamic financial services ecosystem. With Patrick bringing his substantial banking experience to the table and supported by an experienced team, we can develop a strong presence in the city”.

“London has taken up the mantle of Fintech advocate and champion, and we’re keen to get more deeply involved in the conversation, to learn from its expertise in governance and regulation, and to tap into its extraordinary talent pool.”

Xoom partnership

In early December 2020 MFS Africa announced a partnership with PayPal service Xoom to roll out mobile money transfer services to six countries in Africa - Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

At the time Okoudjou said: “Xoom - and their parent company PayPal - are pioneers in digital-first payments, and we are excited to partner with Xoom to further connect our network to the wider world. Diaspora remittances have always been critical for the livelihood of hundreds of millions of Africans and leveraging digital channels to deliver those remittances has always been an important part of our mission. But in a time of global crisis, when brick-and-mortar money transfer stores are not open, connecting digital payments players in the diaspora to the largest network of mobile wallets in Africa doesn’t just make good business sense – it’s the right thing to do from a public health and human welfare perspective, too.”

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